HC Deb 02 July 1928 vol 219 cc980-1

asked the Home Secretary whether he can give the total number of imprisonments for debt during the 12 months ended 31st December, 1927, or to the most recent date for which) statistics are available; and whether he is able to differentiate between those imprisoned for failure to provide maintenance for wives and families, for failure to pay rates and taxes, for failure by parents to pay Police Court fines on account of children failing in school attendance, and for other causes, respectively?


As the answer is rather long, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

Debtor Prisoners, 1927.

The number of debtor prisoners received in prison during the year ended 31st December, 1927, was 12,132, made up as follows:

Committed by—
High Court 21
County Courts 2,875
Courts of Summary Jurisdiction 9,227
Other Courts 9
Total 12,132
The following were committed by Courts of Summary Jurisdiction:
For non-payment of maintenance of wife, family, or relatives under Orders obtained by Poor Law Authorities 129
For non-payment of wife's maintenance under Married Women (Maintenance) Acts, etc. 3,998
For non-payment of children's maintenance under the Children Act, 1908, etc 111
Total, wives, families, etc. 4,238
For non-payment—
of bastardy arrears 2,761
of rates 1,926
of Income Tax 193
under Orders made under the Employers and Workmen Act, 1875 11
of other debts 98
Total 9,227

Details of the cases from Courts other than Courts of Summary Jurisdiction are not available.

Police Court fines on parents on account of children failing in school attendance are imposed as penalties on conviction. In the latest year for which figures are available, namely, 1926, 97 persons were received in prison in default of payment of fine for various offences tabulated against the general heading "Education Acts, Offences against."